SANTA MONICA, CA—Suggesting that the disastrous events of three months ago could have been averted, federal investigators stated Wednesday that a trove of leaked documents confirmed high-ranking studio executives had full knowledge of Gods Of Egypt long before the film was released onto unsuspecting Americans.
Sources said the documents—reportedly turned over to the FBI by an anonymous informant at Lionsgate Films—include email correspondence, memos, and financial records indicating the vast extent of negligence on the part of top-level management, who, despite knowing of plans to unleash the fantasy-action epic on the public more than three years in advance, chose to do nothing.
“As early as March 2013, people in key positions at the studio were clearly aware of coordinated efforts to screen Gods Of Egypt in major metropolitan areas across the country,” said lead investigator Timothy Benfield, pointing out dozens of damning emails to Lionsgate CEO Jon Feltheimer that laid out the film’s disturbing storyline step by step and confirmed its imminent distribution. “Not only did these executives repeatedly fail to act after learning details about the movie’s narrative arc and cast, they also neglected to intervene upon discovering the film would be rated PG-13, which ensured that untold numbers of children were directly targeted.”
“They had every opportunity to prevent the events of February 26, 2016,” continued Benfield, referring to the now-infamous date of the film’s release. “Yet they simply stood by and watched this senseless tragedy unfold.”
According to the FBI’s report, the activities and whereabouts of key players in Gods Of Egypt’s production were known to executives for over a decade, including those of director Alex Proyas, who masterminded similar calamities such as I, Robot in 2004 and Knowing in 2009. Studio officials, however, were said to have stayed silent, allowing Gods Of Egypt to continue even after receiving word that Proyas had recruited a team of actors to carry out elaborate fight sequences dressed as 10-foot-tall animal-headed deities.
Additionally, top brass at Lionsgate reportedly neglected to warn their counterparts overseas, setting off a chain of events that ultimately allowed the high-budget adventure film to show on more than 3,000 screens around the world, resulting in a catastrophe of global scope.
“Complete scripts, full storyboards, and a production timeline crossed the desks of at least a dozen executives, and yet they didn’t take the simple step of freezing assets or otherwise preventing the flow of crucial resources from falling into the hands of those responsible for the film,” Benfield said. “They were even aware that the crew who pulled off Gods Of Egypt had gotten ahold of IMAX technology, potentially putting millions more in the path of the movie.”
“And after studio chiefs learned the film would feature two actors riding immense, fire-breathing CGI cobras across the desert, still no action was taken,” added Benfield. “They just watched as all those innocent people bought their tickets and filed into theaters like lambs to the slaughter.”
Upon hearing of the leaked documents, many of those still traumatized from having witnessed Gods Of Egypt expressed their revulsion at Lionsgate executives for failing to step in and prevent hundreds of thousands of Americans from experiencing 127 unfathomably hellish minutes of horrendous special effects and painful dialogue.
“How could any decent person know about this and just let it happen?” said 41-year-old Flagstaff, AZ resident Katherine Plante, who, like thousands of others, looked on in abject horror on opening night, powerless to do anything as Gerard Butler transformed into a giant gold bird. “Think of all the families who only wanted to have a nice night out together but found themselves in this…this nightmare. It’s devastating to realize it could have been stopped.”
Added Plante, wiping away a tear, “I just hope they never let anything like this happen again.”